Warning, the Legislature's on the way back to Sacramento..
[John Campbell] 8/12/05
the nearly on-time budget, the legislature has been in recess
for the past four weeks.
However, we will
reconvene next Monday. As Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) said in
1866, "No man's life, liberty or property is safe while
the legislature is in session." Clemens, by the way, wrote
this line while living in San Francisco. So, he was apparently
referring not just to any legislature, but the California legislature.
we come back, we have four weeks before we adjourn for the
year on September 9th. Here are some of the issues that
will be prominent over this four week period:
Campbell (R-Irvine) is a California State Senator representing
the 35th District in Orange County. He represents the cities
of Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Huntington
Beach, Seal Beach and Cypress. He can be reached through
his Senate website and
through the website for
his California Senate campaign. [go to Campbell index]
1) Special Election: Now that the court has thrown
out the redistricting initiative and said that the electricity
is probably unconstitutional, what will become of the special
election? Will it go forward as planned with a smaller set of
initiatives? Or will a "deal" be made to avoid the
election entirely? Since the deadline for modifying the election
appears to be August 18th, this will consume the first week.
2) Once we are beyond that, much discussion will revolve around
Senator McClintock and Assemblyman LaMalfa's proposal (I am co-author)
to repair the terrible damage done to property rights by the
US Supreme Court Decision in Kelo V. New London. This is the
case where the court basically ruled that it is OK for the government
to use the power of eminent domain to forcibly take your house
from you to build a bigger house there for someone else as long
as it provides more tax revenue. We need to change the California
Constitution to ban this practice. Expect that the Governor will
not be silent on this issue either.
3) Another big bill that will be debated is SB
1. This is the so-called "Million Solar Roofs Initiative" of
which I am the author. The prospects for passing this incentive
produce 7% of our peak energy load from the environmentally clean
and locally sourced sunlight looks good, as long as labor unions
do not kill it by insisting that all installations be done with
4) And, lots of that bad stuff affecting worker's comp and health
insurance and the business climate will undoubtedly be debated
and probably passed, most of which will face the Governor's veto.
AB 391 (Koretz): This bill would pay unemployment benefits to
union workers who are locked out in a labor dispute. Under existing
law, workers not working due to strikes and lockouts do not get
unemployment. That makes sense. Their "unemployed" condition
is essentially voluntary because they are in a pay dispute with
their employer. This bill rose out of the recent extended supermarket
lockout/strike which nearly broke the unions because they paid
out strike benefits to their members. If this were to become
law, those locked out/striking workers would instead be paid
by the state. This would create an incentive to strike, would
exacerbate a financially strapped unemployment insurance fund
and would essentially use state funds to subsidize union strikes.
Because of the unions control over Democrats in this state, this
will pass and the Governor will have to veto it.SB 46 (Alarcon):
This is an attempt to get rid of last year's worker's comp reforms.
It would replace the market based system with an entirely regulated
rate system run by a committee of the Governor, Insurance Commissioner
and Attorney General. Two of these three are Democrats right
now so this would essentially take worker's comp out of the hands
of the Governor. This would put us back to the system that plunged
this state into economic malaise in the early 1990s with lots
of fraud, huge benefits and government control of rates resulting
in no insurers wanting to be in this market. It will pass and
I expect the Governor will veto it.
SB 645 (Dunn): This ridiculous bill would spend
scarce state money to set up a new commission to study the "forcible
Mexican repatriation of 1929-1944." This commission would
be called the "Commission on the Unconstitutional Deportation
of American Citizens." In addition to the problem of creating
another commission when we have too many already, the real purpose
of this bill is to encourage a flood of litigation against the
state and federal government for "reparations" to the
families of those deported to Mexico during this period. This
is similar to the other recent trial lawyer supported idea to
pay "descendants of slaves" reparations for the offenses
of slavery committed prior to 1862. Under this theory, we should
open up the statutes of limitations on everything for everyone
who thinks they were wronged in a previous life or by people
who have been dead for generations. It's nuts and its wrong.
SB 840 (Kuehl): This is a modification of the "Hillary
care" proposal of the early 1990s which would put California
on a "single payer" health insurance system. Under
this bill, it would be illegal to buy or sell private health
insurance in California and everyone would be required to be
a part of the state-run health system. The state runs so many
things so well that I am sure that they would do a great job
running our entire health insurance system. Not! Obviously, this
is a hugely important bill about which you have not heard much.
I expect it will pass (most unions are for it) and I expect the
Governor will veto it.
And some quickies: SB 171 (Alquist) would require that all interrogations
of murder or violent suspects be taped so that there are more
technicalities from which to release people who have committed
crimes. SB 769 (Simitian) says it will help the energy crisis
by using your money to buy new refrigerators for people in
apartments with "limited income.” And SB 385 (Ducheny)
bans students learning English from being tested in English.
They would have to be tested only in their native language.
So, you can see that the legislature is no different this year
than it has been in prior years in terms of bringing you terrible,
costly and dangerous legislation. Because of the huge Democrat
majorities, Arnold is our main line of defense. Remember that
when the LA Times is telling you how bad he is.
It will be a busy period. Thinking of what Mark Twain said,
I only hope that we can protect your life, liberty and property
for these next four weeks. If we can, you will be safe until
next year. CRO